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Discussion Starter #21
Thanks.

Glad the colours intensify. Will wait and see when my tank stops cycling, and maybe one of them will still be available...

As for nitrates.
Yeah.
The water comes out of my tap at 40. So low nitrates are never going to happen. I do buy some bottled water in, and alternate tap water and bottled, to try stop them rising above 40. Regular water changes help too, of course.
Of course, if I buy fish locally, they are all used to this level of nitrate already.

The diatoms seem to be falling off the plants, which is odd but pleasing.
They are stuck to the wood better.
I'm just using the lights for around 4-6 hours a day, and the plants are growing nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The last few days have been very eventful. The tank was ready for an occupant, so I checked the 4 mentioned above. And all had been sold. A pity, but I hope they have gone to good homes.

So I found a very handsome HM koi online, and ordered him. Delivery today.

I was on absolute tenterhooks since it was my first online fish order and first postal delivery. It all went without a hitch, except for one minor detail - they sent the wrong fish!

The new arrival is still pale, but seems to be red and white with an iridescent lavender over the top. And a dumbo. Quite stunning, but most definitely NOT a koi!

See pics for what I was expecting, and what I got.

Having contacted the seller, it sounds like my koi and the dumbo got swapped. The seller was profoundly apologetic and is offering/insisting on sending a replacement koi, and asked me to ‘give the dumbo a home’ since returning him 150 miles would be impossible.

His name is Valentine. With those colours, the name chose itself! Mind you, they may change over time. Though I think the name has stuck.

I still haven’t decided whether to accept the koi. I have a couple of days to decide, on account of the new year bank hol. I will have to get a tank organised very quickly, if I do want him.

So my carefully cycled tank now has
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Here’s another pic to show his silver tipping.
 

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I believe your HMEE is called Purple Salamander and he is lovely. He should stay that color. I would still add the Koi. And that is why I am called "The Enabler." :)

Do not know if this help, but I have used something similar to this Forum's fish-in tutorial for donkey's years and have never, ever hurt a fish or noticed any changes in behavior during cycling. The trick is using SeaChem Prime which detoxifies Free/Toxic Ammonia (NH3) and converts it to Ammonium (NH4). I will warn you that the API Ammonia test measures Total Ammonia (NH3+NH4) so will see NH4 as NH3; why some say you get a false positive using Prime. That is why I recommend anyone using Prime to cycle buy a SeaChem Ammonia Alert which only measures NH3.

https://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Haha! Enabler, eh? I don’t need any encouragement. I spent the whole of yesterday evening looking at tanks, equipment and positions in the house for tank no 3.

That Seachem cycling instruction could come in VERY useful. Thank you.

But maybe sanity will prevail. We live in a small townhouse, and I don’t like small tanks, so positioning another tank isn’t going to be easy.

As for Valentine being a Purple Salamander... wow... that sounds very impressive. He has just gone up in my estimation! Off to google the name now...
 

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Discussion Starter #26
More pics of Valentine.
Just because he is sitting on my desk now, and I can get nice steady shots of him.
He seems to rather enjoy the attention. Which is a good thing.







There has been a bit of negotiation this morning, over breakfast, and tank No 3 containing koi is reluctantly acceptable to Mr Samphire. The location of the tank though... that discussion is still ongoing.
 
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Discussion Starter #27
Haha!
Operation Tank3KOI is now fully underway.
Tank, heater and stand ordered. (Fluval flex 57litre)
Waiting for text from LFS tomorrow saying they are ready for collection.

3 small bags of new filter media have been soaked in mature tank water and Waterlife, now sitting ‘brewing’ in Tagawa’s 15g

No time to order substrate and plants so will have to (gasp) go out shopping for them.

Have a ordered Ammonia Alert (thanks for that tip!) and a heater cover for Valentine who looks like he might be a Heater Hugger
 

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Glad you are getting him...he is quite, quite gorgeous and will make a nice compliment to Tagawa and Valentine.

BTW, SeaChem Stability is what I use when cycling a new tank or adding tank mates. In my terms, not technical, it fertilizes the existing nitrifying bacteria and prevents a mini cycle or cycle crash. Sometimes I add it for just the heck of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
The usual mild chaos when plans are thrown together at short notice.
- tank and stand have arrived and look great.
Went for the 57litre Fluval flex, mainly because of the back filter chamber (which I can tweak with more filter media) and the lights. Remote control, lots of lighting options, and good for a low tech med-low light plant setup.

Valentine’s plants in the 12inch cube were all chosen for their small leaves and slow growth, so they won’t swamp the tank. Carpet plants. Mosses. Anubias mini mini.

Decided this new tank with have a v different look. I want big tall plants and surface cover, with stems for Kham (the koi) to swim through. A bigish sunken log. Should give small-fish-in-big-forest effect, rather than big-fish-in-nano-planting.
If it works, of course!

And I will aim (longterm) for a gorgeous yellow Mystery snail, like @Old Dog 59 has and as many ember tetras as is appropriate for the tank.
Big snail.
Big plants.
Small fish.
Big cattapa leaves...

Only, no one bothered to tell me that every fish store around is closed (New Year’s Day), so I can neither buy substrate, nor fill and plant today.
Most frustrating!
I wanted the tank to sit for 48hrs before Kham’s arrival.
But i have just lost a whole day!
 

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You really made out

Even though he's not what you ordered, he is so beautiful. I do like elephant ears, and his color is just fantastic. Getting another tank ready so fast for the new one is always fun. Fish in cycle is not that hard. Just beware of Ammonia spikes and with plants you may not have problems with nitrite and nitrate spikes, but they do happen. I would suggest Ammo Lock with each water change and an ammonia alert in the tank. I never thought much of Snails but I must say the 4 mystery snails I did put in just amaze me. The way they climb the plants even the weakest stems they clean the leaves with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
Well, he arrived this morning.
My heart sank when I opened the package. The water was urine yellow and he was very floppy (but definitely alive).
So I took even more care than my usual extreme care in acclimating him.
Used a turkey baster, drop by drop, and kept it very dark.
And he responded brilliantly.

His name is Kham, which apparently means Gold or Golden in one of the Thai dialects.

He has taken full command of the whole tank and is buzzing about as if he had lived here for years.
He loves the catappa leaf (i’m guessing it will sink soon)

Here he is:






The tank is just regimented lines of plants and the substrate (at the moment).
The logs and betta leave haven’t arrived yet. Hopefully tomorrow...
 
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Discussion Starter #33
Me too!
The seller emailed me mid morning to check he was OK - which i really appreciated.
 

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He is very beautiful, I'm glad he had someone to care for him when he arrived. I have never purchased live fish on line and never will. I want to see the fish first, and see how they are cared for. I never buy a fish from a tank that has dead loss, or from a store that does not show the buyer that they know how to keep their tanks clean. I have walked into too many places looked at their fish, and walked out with out any type of purchase of fish, or supplies. So many times I walked into a store, looked over their stock of betta and went right to the manager and made a complaint about the way their cups had never had a water change. Does it do any good???? most times no, I want to rescue all of them but can't. It breaks my heart to see any animal being kept in distress. However there are people like you and I here on the forum that care out of love and want the best for their charges. Why have a pet that depends on their human to care and feed and clean up after them, If that human only holds interest for a few months. Your charges whether fish or animal are yours to care for, for their life time not just until you become disinterested in their care. Well enough rant for now. You have done an amazing job with all your boys and go to any length to make sure they receive the best care you can give. lot of love there Mom.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
It breaks my heart when I see pets that are neglected after that first flush of enthusiasm.
And angry.
I seem to go the other way, looking for ways to improve their living conditions over time.

One dog (shih tzu) goes to an animal chiropractor, for goodness’ sake. Haha!
 

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Did you ask the seller about the water? It might have been something the seller added.

I completely understand people not wanting to buy online; especially the need to see the fish for themselves and the fear of shipping. And, of course, the expense.

However, I think there is often misunderstanding of how those who import or breed Betta for a living function. And the difference between their care and that of most pet stores. If a pet store loses a Betta it is no big deal to their bottom line as they have other fish or such to make up the loss. If an independent online seller loses even one Betta is a big hit. So diligent care is of utmost importance.

Betta from online sellers are generally cared for better, kept cleaner and fed better than the average pet store Betta. Their environment is kept the proper temperature without fluctuations. Often they are in filtered tanks...which are a minimum of one gallon....and not cups. One seller I know has a filter and heating system; another does water changes every three days. Both feed a variety of live and frozen food. To be fair, this is most likely true of the pet store Betta before the pet store gets them.

In addition, online sellers are knowledgeable about Betta and supportive if you have questions or concerns. And how many pet stores contact you to make sure everything is okay?

All of the above is why I will always buy my Betta online.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I must say I have been v impressed with buying online.

Had read about it, and been DEEPLY sceptical, mainly because of the thought of the fish whizzing about by courier, trapped in a sealed container. But then I realised how illogical that was. Here in the UK, every fish that is bred or imported, is brought from the breeder to the point of sale by multiple trips via courier. Then they come home with us in the same way.

And who is most invested in making the conditions least stressful? The breeder/importer? Or the rushed warehouse staff and badly trained shop staff?

Also rather impressed by the customer care. One point of contact. Named email, not a generic one. Late night response on one occasion. I sent at 10pm, not expecting a response for 24hrs or so (standard business practice, esp over Xmas) and I got a response within an hour! Yes, they sent the wrong fish, but the willingness to rectify has been outstanding. I’ll definitely be buying like this again. Although not for a while. No more tank room!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Haha! yes indeed!

Kham is proving to a be a little dense. Bless him.
So far he has managed to find 1 New Life Spectrum pellet out of 4 meals of 2 pellets each. I don't think he is used to filter flow, more space, and food that moves about.
But I expect he will learn.

Valentine, on the other hand is busy teaching me where he wants the pellets dropped, and what angle the light needs to be for him to see them. Much higher IQ!

Meanwhile Tagawa continues to laze about ruling the roost with no sign of anything other than relaxed calm. I STILL haven't seen him flare, although he head butts snails occasionally...
 
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